Oct. 3, 1915 – Dec. 24, 2009
Stephen passed away peacefully on December 24, 2009 in Nanaimo Regional Hospital with members of his family at his side. He was predeceased by his loving wife Doris, who passed away on December 1, 2003, after 61 years of marriage. He is mourned by his sons: Robert, Patrick, and Brian; his daughters-in-law, Vivian, Linda and Shirley; his grandchildren: Stephanie, Kristin, Colin, Stephen and Kimberley, and his great-grandchildren: Estelle, Connor and Selina.
Stephen was born on October 3, 1915 in Port Arthur Ontario, and was the eldest of five children. Displaying the independence that characterized his life, he left home at the age of 16 to work in the lumber industry of northern Ontario. In 1940 he enlisted in the air force, and trained to serve as a wireless air gunner eventually reaching the rank of Flight Lieutenant. During training, he met Doris Hider, a young nurse at Calgary General Hospital, an event that he regarded as the most fortunate occurrence of his life. They married on February 28, 1941. At the completion of training, he volunteered to serve in Ferry Command, and spent the early years of the war based in Montreal fl ying aircraft across the Atlantic to resupply the British RAF. The many twists of fate that kept him safe from fatal accidents that claimed the lives of his colleagues convinced him that he had a personal guardian angel looking after him. He was transferred to the west coast following the declaration of war with Japan, and spent time patrolling the coast of B.C. and Alaska. He volunteered to return to Bomber Command in Europe and arrived there just as the war in Europe ended.
Following the war, he settled on Vancouver Island. He joined the provincial Public Service in 1958 and worked as a Public Heath Inspector in Nelson, Campbell River, and Chilliwack. He retired in 1980 from the position as Chief Health Inspector for the Upper Fraser Valley. He was an avid golfer and skier, and it was a source of pride that he was able to keep up with his grandchildren on the ski slopes at the age of 85. Following the death of his wife, Doris, in 2003, he continued to live independently in Chilliwack until August 2009, when he moved to Origins at Longwood in Nanaimo. The family’s deepest thanks are extended to the staff at Origins for their care and attention, and for enhancing the quality of his final days.
Steve had a long life, blessed with good health and good fortune. While he was demanding, and at times difficult, he demonstrated through his behavior the importance of honesty, duty, integrity, self- reliance and hard work in making your way in the world. He will be missed by all of his family and friends. No service, by request.